In line with the requirement of all Government bodies and departments to ensure our estates portfolio remains fit for purpose and cost-effective we embarked on our Estates Review last year. We recognise the important role we have as the guardians of some of Scotland’s most treasured possessions and information and are committed to making sure that we do that job well at the same time as improving our services to customers.
Our long-term aspiration is to co-locate the majority of our staff in a fit-for-purpose facility in Edinburgh, and to expand and improve our archive and public facilities at Thomas Thomson House in the west of the city. Although there are no immediate plans for NRS to move out of General Register House or New Register House, these buildings do not feature in our core estate over the long-term. This intention remains subject to a number of challenges and constraints, not least funding, and at this stage this is our preferred direction of travel over the long-term, not a hard and fast commitment.
However as the realisation of this strategy will take a number of years and remains dependent on funding, we have also agreed a short term plan to address our two immediate priorities – to improve archive storage (for all records), and to build a more cohesive, collaborative organisation. These plans include extending the current archive facility at Thomas Thomson House, with digitisation facilities and public search rooms to provide better customer access to physical records, securing modern office accommodation for our staff in the same area, and re-locating the West Register House archive to Thomas Thomson House.
Over the next few months we will develop an implementation plan that will allow us to make these changes whilst meeting our existing commitments. A component of the implementation plan will be engagement with our customers who use our services to develop a plan in line with their needs.